Boxer vs Pit Bull: Which Breed Is For You?

Written by: Milica Brzakovic
You can't seem to make up your mind about which of these two breeds is better for you? Or you're simply wondering what makes boxers and pit bulls similar and what makes them different? Either way, this is the article for you!

Boxers and pit bulls can be very similar at first sight, because of their physical appearance.

And yes, they do share many traits when it comes to looks, size and shape. But what about their personality?

In this article we’re comparing these two breeds in various categories and we’ll try to facilitate the choice for you by providing important information about the two.

Both of these breeds fall down under the category of ”bully breeds”, because they trace back to the same dogs as the English and American bulldog. Even though they have a lot of similarities, they’re also different in many ways and shouldn’t be approached the same way, but treated as two different breeds.

First of all, let’s start by introducing these two breeds separately, before we start comparing them.

The Boxer

The boxer originated in Germany. It’s a purebred, usually brindle, fawn and white. Because of its various talents, it can take part in many activities, such as guarding, military work, police work, agility and search and rescue.

Even though this breed is called this way because they appear to like boxing, they are in fact very gentle. It’s true that they have some ”boxer characteristics” as they love pawing at objects, animals and people when they play. However, they don’t do it with force as they’re very considerate, which may come as a surprise to many!

They are very goofy and energetic and even though they look dangerous to many, they are in fact very patient and love children. Some downsides may be that they’re very sloppy and gassy, but this is nothing compared to their energy and charm. On top of this, they are very intelligent, loyal and friendly.

The Pit Bull

The pit bull originated in The United States. It’s a purebred ad well, with more variety in colors and sizes than the boxer. This is explained by the fact that a lot of different breeds fall down under this category, among others the American Bull Terrier.

The most common colors for pit bulls are black, black and tan, brown, gray, red, white and yellow. They have a lot of activities they participate in as well, such as agility, carting, hunting, tracking and weight pulling.

Aggressive and vicious are common words that often pop up when it comes to pit bulls, as well as other bully breeds. However, this isn’t even close to the truth with most pit bulls. On the contrary, this breed can be a very loyal family dog. Pit bulls are very intelligent, energetic and joyful and can be great with kids if trained properly.

Boxers vs Pit Bulls

Now that you’re familiar with both of these breeds, let’s start with comparing and distinguishing, if applicable, boxers and pit bulls in a couple of categories.


When it comes to their body shape, both are quite muscular but boxers are a bit sleeker, while pit bulls are more stocky. Another thing that distinguishes them is the tail. Boxers have docked tails, while pit bulls have long and sleek tails. When it comes to ears, both of these breed can have their ears cropped or left intact – floppy.


Both boxers and pit bulls love people and are usually very friendly. Both breeds have a lot of energy so you have to be prepared on providing a lot of exercise and activity.

Boxers are happy dogs with a lot of energy who love to play, in particular with children. Pit bulls run the reputation of being aggressive dogs. However, this is only true in situations when they have to be aggressive towards other animals. It’s very rare that they’re aggressive towards people.

Both of these breeds make great family dogs, as they’re smart, agile and ready to protect their family when needed. Boxers usually make good guard dogs, while pit bulls are very charming and can protect in their own way.


This is maybe the category they’re the most similar in. Both of them are approximately between 18 to 25 inches tall. Boxers are a big bigger as they’re in average tall from 22 to 25 inches, while pit bulls are 18 to 22 inches.

When it comes to weight, they’re pretty similar there too. Boxers usually weigh from 55 to 70 pounds. Pit bulls have a broader range in weight and size, as they can go all from 25 to 110 pounds, 55 being the most common weight.

They have very similar growth patterns as well. After three months, their height is usually between 12-14 inches. After six months, 15-17 inches. By the end of their first year, they will usually have reached their full height.

Health And Longevity

When you’re thinking about buying a dog it’s very important to take potential health issues into consideration before making a final decision.

Boxers are prone to heart and thyroid problems, cancer, hip dysplasia, arthritis and deafness, typical for white boxers. They also tend to drool and can have flatulence as a reaction to various food.

Pit bulls are in general a healthy breed but they also have a couple of conditions they’re more prone to than others, such as hip dysplasia, allergies to grass, cataracts and heart problems.

Boxers can live from 11 to 14 years, while pit bulls live about 12 years. Because of boxer’s aptitude to serious diseases, mentioned above, they live shorter than pit bulls in general.


As mentioned, both of these breeds are very energetic and require a lot of activity and playing. It’s possible for them to live in apartments but you have to be prepared that they will need a lot of walks and exercise.

The pit bull is even more active than the boxer, even though both are very active breeds. However, they prefer different ways of getting rid of all the energy. Pit bulls enjoy classical exercise, such as long walks, while boxers prefer playing.

Neither breed is a fan of extreme temperatures, especially cold weather, probably because of their short coats. Doggy-jackets are lifesavers for both breeds during winter.

Which Breed Is Right For You?

boxer vs pit bull

We’ve presented some general features that distinguish boxers and pit bulls and the ones they share. Now, you as a future dog owner is probably thinking about how your dog will fit in in your life and which breed is easier to maintain and train. Let’s find out!


Both of these breeds are easy to maintain. Their grooming needs are easy to fulfill which makes them perfect if you don’t want to spend your time and money on this.


Boxers and pit bulls don’t fall down under the category of breeds that don’t shed, but they are not heavy shedding dogs either. They shed moderately, but if you brush their coat it will reduce the shedding and make the coat softer and cleaner.


Training is very important when it comes to socializing these breeds. Both are quite stubborn when it comes to training, but pit bulls tend to be a bit easier to train. It’s inclined to listen to commands and like pleasing its owner.

Boxers can make it difficult at times, ironically because of their intelligence. However, they’re highly trainable and very willing, if you commit to their training completely and show a lot of patience.

Watchdog Ability

This may come as a surprise, but pit bulls aren’t that good watchdogs. Boxers, on the other side, excel in this category. It will bark and alarm its family and people in the surrounding in the case of an intruder and do whatever it can to protect the people around it.


Pit bulls are a bit more adaptable than boxers. It can alter itself to the environment and respond better to certain changes. Boxers don’t tolerate too hot or too cold weather, while pit bulls only have a problem with low temperatures.

When it comes to adjusting to city life, boxers require more training for living in an apartment and they are best off with a yard, because of their love for playing and goofing around. Even though pit bulls prefer open spaces as well, they get used to apartments faster and easier.


Even though both of these breeds are very active, pit bulls are even more so than boxers. They require a lot of exercise and they mostly enjoy walks and runs, while boxers prefer getting they daily exercise through play and fun. If you’re someone who enjoys regular walks and exercise, pit bulls will make great fitness companions.

New Owners

If you’ve never had a dog before you’re probably wondering which one is better for you. Both of these breeds require a lot of training and patience in the beginning, and even if training a pit bull is a bit easier, boxers are better for first time dog owners.

Around Children

As mentioned, both breeds are great with kids and are perfect family dogs. They are playful, energetic and loving which will make kids love them and vice versa.

Around Cats

Boxers are better around cats than pit bulls, so if you already have a cat at home or in the neighborhood boxers are a better choice.

So…which one do I choose?

It’s all very individual and what works better for one person doesn’t mean it will work for someone else. So, it’s all up to you! You now have the material to create a pro and con list and take all aspects into consideration, but the final decision has to be the one that feels right for you! Think it through and do whatever you think is the right thing to do.


Boxers and pit bulls are very similar in some categories, like size, easy maintenance and some personality traits. They are both great family dogs with a lot of energy, even though they usually like different kinds of exercise. Both breeds have quite bad reputations, especially pit bulls, of being aggressive dogs. However, they’re very kind and loving contrary to the general belief.

Even though they’re very similar in some ways, they are different in some aspects. For instance, boxers are much better watchdogs than what pit bulls are. This is not the only difference so it’s very important not to treat the two the same way, as they are in fact two different breeds with different traits and personalities.

Now that you know all this about pit bulls and boxers the only thing left for you to do is to make a decision. Good luck and enjoy being a dog owner, whatever breed you choose!